I joined the Denver Metro YMCA about 16 months ago, right around the time I got married actually. There was no way I was going to slip into #dadbod (I’m not a dad) at age 33. I want to tell you a bit about my Y experience, and I hope it resonates with you and motivates you to support a wonderful organization that is completely dedicated to serving communities across our country.
If you want to skip my story, feel free click on the button below to make your tax-deductible donation to the Denver Metro YMCA. It’s very much appreciated by many!
Why/How I Came to the Y
I joined the Downtown Denver Y to get back into the habit of regular exercise involving weights and cardio with a workout partner to whom I would be accountable.My good friend Nic Gray, a long-time Y member since his childhood, brought me in the door.
Nic is an Army vet (tank gunner) and tech CEO with a respectable commitment to physical fitness and a strong belief in its mental benefits. I had been a member at a yoga studio for a while, which was great (a bit spendy), but I was looking to diversify my exercise regimen into weights and cardio.
The Downtown Y had the right price (~1/2 what I was paying for yoga), the right location, smack dab downtown and the right product offering (exercise floor with lots of cardio and weight machines along with free weights, gym for basketball, dedicated classrooms for yoga and other programming and a locker room stocked with towels, steam room and sauna, all for $50.
What I’ve Gotten Out of It
Now, that I’m 16 months into my membership, let me tell you how’s it working out. I have been more committed to my physical fitness and my steam skills are top notch. I have Nic, the Y and myself to thank for that, but I really want to mention the other ancillary benefits I’ve received from the Y. So, here they are:
Community (the people)
I’ve made a lot of new friends at the Y. I use the word ‘friend’ intentionally. These aren’t just acquaintances or passers-by. These are people I genuinely care about and who I feel care about and for me. My new friends range in age from 22 to 75 and come from all walks of life. I enjoy running across them when I’m at the Y, grabbing breakfast with them, and volunteering with them. They’re a new and diverse social group I didn’t have before.
Opportunity (to give back)
About 9 months ago, I joined the Board of Advisors for the Downtown Y. For me, the Board is a vehicle providing me the opportunity to deliver impact both at the Y and well outside its walls. I also have a platform to engage others who can support the Y’s mission of offering programs and facilities that help healthy spirit, mind and body for all. I put for all in bold because I feel everyone should know that:
THE Y LITERALLY DOES NOT TURN ANYBODY AWAY. ALL ARE WELCOME AND THE Y FIGURES OUT HOW TO MAKE IT WORK. IT’S INCREDIBLE AND YOU CAN BE A PART OF SUPPORTING IT.
I am raising money for the Y’s annual campaign, so the Y and all of its supporters can continue delivering on this incredible mission. My goal is to raise $5,000. Will you help me get there? Just click the button below. It takes 30 seconds.
- Donation Details (what your money supports)
Your tax-deductible donation delivers real impact to thousands of people of all ages across Metro Denver. 0% of annual campaign dollars go to fund the administrative budget of the Y). All money is deployed into the community for awesome programs such as these:
- LIVESTRONG at the YMCA – a 12-week exercise program and group talking sessions for cancer survivors, both those going through treatment currently and those who had made it through
- Parkinson’ Disease Program – Helping those with Parkinson’s maintain muscle mobility and flexibility
- Diabetes Prevention Program – Providing education and programming to combat the rampant rise of diabetes in our communities
- Membership Scholarships – Remember, the Y turns nobody away. They deliver on that promise by providing membership scholarships for those who cannot afford to pay for a membership, so awesome.
- Joy in Purpose (doing good)
I have an ongoing internal struggle around not delivering enough impact in the world. My wife is a teacher, so we know she’s a saint who helps people, but what about me? I’m a Finance guy who has done some volunteering and generally aims to help people out, but I lack regularity. And for some strange reason, finding volunteer opportunities has proven difficult (maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough).
Well, now I don’t really have to look at all, I just have to show up and sign up. The Y’s consistently helping out in a multitude of ways, and I now have confidence that I’ll be delivering regular impact right alongside it. If you want to get involved as a volunteer, check out the Y’s volunteer opportunities. That link’s only for Denver, but you can get nationwide or other localized opportunities as well. Just Google “YMCA volunteer opportunities.
Thanks for your support,